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topic 8429

Silver Plating


I recently had a tray replated with silver. The tray seems to tarnish more quickly than other silver plated goods. Also it is far harder to clean using conventional Goddard's Silver Dip [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. I am a chemist myself and am wondering if the QUALITY of the layer of silver metal deposited depends on the skill of the person carrying out the electroplating. For example is the quality affected by such things as the nature of the silver salt used (cyanide or nitrate or some other silver compound), on the concentration of the compounds in solution, on the temperature and time etc etc.

Could someone either answer my question or refer me to some scientific papers on the subject.

Ray G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- London, England


Although the quality of silver plating or any other kind of plating can vary widely, Ray, I doubt that the tarnishing is related to the quality of the plating. Silver plating -- even very high quality -- tarnishes readily because it reacts with sulfides in the atmosphere and your home.

Frequently the silver plating will be given a post treatment -- perhaps a flash of rhodium plating or a clearcoat. These can increase the "shelf life", so they are frequently applied to jewelry. Please see letter 4785 for an effortless way to polish silverplate. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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